Between the Lines

The Russians Are Coming!

When the Berlin Wall fell, and the Soviet Union imploded shortly afterward, the world breathed a sigh of relief—except in the faculty lounges of our more exclusive universities, the last bastion of Marxism in the developed world.  But these hothouse exotics weren’t the only losers.  Their opposite numbers, the professional anticommunists, had far more to lose in terms of prestige, employment, and, yes, cold hard cash.  Their area of expertise was no longer relevant or marketable, and their employment prospects were grim until September 11, 2001, when they switched to the “antiterrorism” racket.

Yet this angle, too, soon ran out of steam, as Al Qaeda’s ranks dwindled and Osama bin Laden met his well-deserved end.  How long could we go on spending multibillions “protecting” the United States from the “threat” of a bunch of half-educated savages cowering in a cave somewhere?  The hysteria was way out of proportion to the actual threat.

In these dire circumstances, with their professional credentials—and incomes—at stake, the titans of the fearmongering industry decided to branch out by bringing back the Cold War.  Retro-politics was the answer to their dilemma.  As usual, the neoconservatives were in the vanguard of this new propaganda campaign: Richard Perle brought it to the fore, and others...

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